Virgene Tyrrell

The scope of artists during the monthly First Friday art walk is generally broad; everything from painting to performance. Mosaics are no strangers either, though they’re usually not displayed in The Yarn Gallery; it’s a much closer fit for the shop’s next door neighbor, Stained Glass With Class.

As it stands, mosaic artist Virgene Tyrrell has been a happy customer of Carissa Grosland’s shop in the past, which is the knot on the otherwise strange connection. A creator of a wide assortment of different mosaiced objects, Tyrrell says that she enjoys making art that is functional, such as tables, lazy susans, and mirrors.

“I like to be able to use my work,” said Tyrrell. “We always have a lazy susan sitting on the table. I just enjoy them having a purpose.”

A part-time Minnesotan from Bemidji who spends her winters in Texas, Tyrrell is fitting this gallery in as one last hurrah before heading south, where she is working on having a larger show in Georgetown, Texas, near Austin. But her biggest claim to fame at the moment has nothing to do with any galleries she’s been a part of. On a whim, and on the encouragement of friends to do so, Tyrrell decided to submit images of some of her mosaic suns to CBS Sunday Morning, which regularly airs sun-based work of artists around the country. After submitting her work, she heard from one of the show’s producers that they receive thousands of entries for these art interludes. All the same, the show decided to use not one, but two of her mosaics on the national television show.

“It’s just fun to see it on TV,” added Tyrrell.

A quick look at her website will show that her work goes far beyond the depiction of suns, though. From the abstract to the representational, her mosaics cover a range of styles that suggest continuous experimentation.

“I love the different materials that she uses. I like that there’s a wide variety of subject matters, the bright colors, and the functionality of her pieces,” said Grosland of her guest artist.

Virgene Tyrrell will be at The Yarn Gallery for the First Friday art walk on Oct. 3, for 4 to 7 p.m. Other First Friday galleries and events include the MacRostie Art Center, Stained Glass with Class, the Central School Artists in Residence, Lake Lover Vintage, the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, Move It Real Estate Group, Computer Enterprises, Jenny & Company, Frame Up, Brewed Awakenings, and the VFW, where there will be live jazz music from 7 to 10 p.m. Bonus events not in the downtown area include a performance by Brian Helmuth at the Judy Garland Museum starting at 7 p.m., and the Great Northern Union Chorus at the Reif Center starting at 7:30 p.m.

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